An email published by Wikileaks from the hacked Gmail account of John Podesta suggests a top official from the Department of Justice (DOJ) tipped off the Clinton campaign about State Department proceedings related to the investigation into the use of Clinton’s private email server. Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik sent an email from his private Gmail account to Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, in May 2015 with the subject line “Heads up.”
“There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify,” Kadzik wrote. “Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this [morning] indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”
This newly released email comes just days after Kadzik announced he’s currently involved in the DOJ’s role in the FBI’s investigation into tens of thousands recently discovered emails from the laptop of Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
After FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress about the renewed investigation in Clinton use of a private server last week, Bloomberg reports Kadzik informed lawmakers that the DOJ will be working with investigators.
“The Department will continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible,” Kadzik said.
Several right-wing publications are pointing to Kadzik’s past relationship with Podesta as an explanation to why he sent the email in question with his Gmail account as opposed to the government-issued doj.gov account. Wikileaks has previously published several emails showing a close relationship between Kadzik and Podesta.
Podesta wrote in an email on September 8, 2008, with the subject line “Re: Peter Kadzik” that he’s a “fantastic lawyer” and once kept him out of jail. Podesta also met Kadzik for dinner the day after Clinton’s 11-hour-long Benghazi hearing.
Two more emails published by Wikileaks continue to fuel speculation of an apparent conflict of interest with Kadzik’s involvement in the newest Clinton email investigation. A few months after the post-Benghazi hearing dinner, the two met again at Podesta’s home, and on May 5, 2015, Kadzik’s son asked Podesta for a job at the Clinton campaign.
Kadzik’s relationship to Podesta doesn’t stop there. The New York Times reported in 1998 that President Bill Clinton hired Kadzik as part of his legal team in anticipation of the impeachment hearings after the Monica Lewinski scandal. Kadzik was Podesta’s private lawyer when he was White House deputy chief of staff at the time.
Another interesting tidbit from the New York Times archives is an article confirming that Kadzik’s law firm represented Marc Rich in his criminal case.
Rich, a wealthy financier, was indicted on multiple federal charges in 1983 and fled to Switzerland where he remained until passing away in 2013. On Tuesday, the FBI published heavily redacted documents about its investigation into President Clinton’s decision to pardon Rich on his last day in office after Rich’s wife donated $450,000 to Clinton’s presidential library and $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.
“The staff informed the president that it was our view that the pardon should not be granted,” Podesta said in 2001.
As the presidential race between Clinton and Donald Trump tightens, the last thing the Clinton campaign needs is more emails hinting at anything resembling collusion. Trump has been touting the system is rigged, and each release of hacked emails from Podesta by Wikileaks offers what could be interpreted as a kernel of truth to the accusation. The relationship between Kadzik and the Clinton campaign is close enough that voters might think he’s not the right official from the DOJ to have any knowledge relating to the investigation of more emails related to Clinton’s private server.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]